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Team Value In Coaching Masters

Written By: Nadine Day

Do we have a pool shortage or not? We still have restrictions on pool time and a limited number of swimmers in each lane. What can we do? We need to work together. If you have a pool, is that pool being utilized enough and can you increase your revenue. COVID has taught us to think outside the box and support each other.

A few thoughts:

How much time do we need to be in a pool? Do we need 2 hour swim practices every day. We need the feel of the water and that is a fact. You can’t get that feeling on a swim bench or swim cord. With limited pool time, we have realized that cross training is more important. You can do that by incorporating dryland into a program. I love dryland active warm up and warm down. When we could only have 1 swimmer per lane. Wasn’t it fun to do snake down the pool and do one way sprints for practice and the other swimmers did dryland on deck. Did you notice that all those squats did paid off with stronger legs and faster kicking.

So what are the road blocks that we might face. We can’t say locker room are an issue. We learned to “arrive in your swim suit and leave in your swim suit.” Thanks to USA Swimming Safe Sport, we did get deck changing pop up tents. Inconvenient yes, but worth the pool time, DEFINITELY.

What can we do with empty pools? Does your team swim every morning and use every lane? I have found that many triathletes and masters swimmers like morning practices. Triathletes like swimming in the morning before work then running and biking after work. Triathletes and Masters will make the time to go to practice when the pool is available. Even if it is just twice a week. I coached a masters program on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for triathletes/adult swimmers. We had 3 lanes and up to 4 swimmers per lane. Each lane had their own workout.

Is your pool empty during the Lunch hour? Kids can’t swim during that time, they are in school. Have a lunch practice, for those who can’t make it in the mornings. You may even get a free lunch.

You don’t have the coach~Did you know that US Masters Swimming requires only a registered Masters member (only cost $60.00) to be on the pool deck for their liability coverage? US Masters Swimming has a coaches certification and many LMSCs have scholarships for coaches to attend. Better yet, have that adult help shadow you on deck to learn how you coach. You would be surprised that masters swimmers and coaches probably have read every swim article and journal to learn about techniques and workouts.

What other advantages of having a masters program? The most important is the support system for your club that masters swimmers provide. You need timers or volunteers for meets, ask your masters team. You may gain a few officials and help with your booster club. Just for a few extra hours a week you can gain support and revenue.

As a Physical Therapist, I have used hotel pools to treat my aquatic therapy patients. Why can’t teams use the hotel pool for a practice? I have trained in hotel pools before COVID. I focused on what I call skills and drills. All technique focused practice. You can also put a swimmer on a short cord and swim for a hour. Swim lessons are also easy to do in a hotel pool too.

It is about being flexible and utilizing your pool to the maximum. You have to realize that I am not saying you have to be the coach for all the programs. It is also about mentoring others to help you. We have learned to be more creative, more dedicated during these past 2 years.

As you tell your athletes to maximize their potential, it is your turn to maximize your pool to maximize your program.

Nadine Day

Co-owner Professional Physical Therapy, PC

Video analysis stroke technique and Telehealth Physical Therapy

USMS Coach Certification Level 3

3 Time USMS High Performance Coach

ASCA Coach Certification Level 2

Danville High School Girls Head Coach

Past President of US Masters Swimming

Previous USAS Athlete Mentor

Previous Head Coach Danville Silver Dolphins, Schlarman High School


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